It is impossible to identify the single reason for success. It is the continuous dedication of many, the trust and support from friends and families, and the believe in doing the right things that keeps Proyecto Horizonte now going for 17 years. We broke ground for the construction of the daycare center on May 27th, 2004 in the Zona Sur of Cochabamba, Bolivia. We had the courage to start, based on a vision only, a budget equal to a new upscale convertible car (why would I ever need such a vehicle?), and a group of dedicated people. We felt could make a difference if we work as a team, combine our skills, believe in our vison, but stay open to adjust if necessary. We stay modest and patient, knowing that our work will never finish, and keep our integrity towards the cause.
17 years later, we are one of the most respected private and local foundations in the region. Our programs are recognized among the best. Our skills and talents are developed locally. The people growing up in our communities know best what is necessary to improve the quality of life and to solve the challenges that are thrown into our direction. We have team members who are working with us since the beginning and in the last years each over 2000 children and their families directly benefitted from our work. Some of our volunteers participated in our programs, receive grants to visit university and give back to the community in their spare time. We are still mainly focused on education and community development. Our programs help us identifying problems and our team of psychologists, social workers and legal experts then solve specific challenges.
Of course, it requires funding to achieve those results. As of today, we can trace the majority of our donations to 1-2 degrees of separation from our team and volunteers. There have been significant donors: the friend who organized a number of events to get bankers to donate, the former colleague who runs his own foundation and provides us with computers and teachers, the former boss who regularly donated parts of his bonus, countless birthdays or other lifetime events were dedicated to our work and many more. Here as well, we have donors who support us for 17 years now.
It also requires also a strong team. Hundreds of volunteers supported us from the beginning. Some even found their partners on while they were on site. We always are open to support, and I can proudly say that close friendships evolved from the volunteers.
We only started measuring our impact years after we began operations, and I still do not know which of the colorful and broadly promoted Social Development Goals we are supporting. For me the experience on the ground the happy faces of the children and their parents, when we helped them with an issue, is still the best indicator that we do the right things.
We have navigated through many challenges and the global pandemic is yet another one that requires us to adjust, but I also know that we will be able to manage through this situation even if as of today, the country of Bolivia suffers from an intense 3rd wave. This will not stop us. We always need helping hands! Our social media presence requires improvements, the website needs to be updated, tax filings need to be done and we always seek funding, knowing that this is particularly challenging this year. So, please reach out to us if you are ready to help.
Being able to experience the last 17 years of work of Proyecto Horizonte makes me grateful and is enough of a motivation to continue for 17 more!